Monday, March 30th, 2020
The BBC reported that things have changed “utterly”—a term I’ve never heard a news anchor use.
The Netherlands and other European countries reported receiving defective masks from China. France ordered one billion Chinese masks. A trove of face masks (250,000) found at the UN in New York was donated to the city. The United Nations displayed a level of preparedness not seen in much of the US. The UN is physically in NYC, but politically independent of NY and the USA. It has an independent police and fire force, a postal system, and its own electrical plant. Mayor Bloomberg, who had no power over the UN, managed to get them to renovate their entire campus and bring it up to local codes—a neat trick. Those masks must have survived the work which was completed less than five years ago.
Crude oil is at its lowest price in 18 years.
Eggs “spiked” to over $3.00 / dozen.
The president said that 100,000 tests are being performed every day. Not sure where the fact checkers are, they’re not in his universe. He also said, “The peak, the highest point, is two weeks away.” I hope someone is making a comic book about his role in leading the country through this 100-year crisis.
Today marks the end of the initial 15-day quarantine. More than 1,000 people have died in NY State. There is enough protective equipment for the week, but not enough ventilators. The new tent hospital in Central Park will likely not provide enough extra beds.
Hospitals are reusing equipment five times which would normally be used once and then discarded. I wonder if there could be a silver lining in that down the road. Urban doctors in one of the richest cities in the world are pondering issues of wartime medicine.
At 2:00 AM, eating popcorn out of the pot, I finally realized what is so different. My least favorite aspect of this city is gone. Well not entirely, earlier I heard a car alarm, and just now, as I write this, I can hear a garbage truck. But, for at least fifteen minutes before that, it was quiet—genuinely quiet, not silent. I can still hear the same garbage truck on its third stop, it is many blocks away; there is no competition to drown out what would normally be well off the audible spectrum. A level of nuance and detail has emerged in the soundscape. Utterly different.
March 31st, 2020 Central Park